Child Friendly

The other night, Hub and I decided to go see Mission Impossible 4 at the cinema.

There were no tickets left for the 9.30pm show.  And the seats left for the 10.30pm show weren’t together.  So we went to the 11.30pm show.  It was rather late, but we’re on holiday so it didn’t really matter!

As we waited for the endless number of adverts to finish, a young couple arrived and sat in front of us.  With them was their son.  He looked as if he may have been about Vinay’s age.  Possibly *slightly* older.  No more than 18-20 months I’d say.

The poor child was actually very well behaved to start with.  But he soon got fidgety.  He cried a little.  He wanted to walk around.  He wanted to talk to his parents.  He wanted to sleep.

His mum took him outside several times.  His dad held his hand over his mouth when he cried.  And at one point he smacked him lightly.  At no point did they offer him something to drink or eat.

I, of course, couldn’t concentrate on the film because I was too horrified by what was going in the seats in front of me.

I have, so far, found Dubai to be very child friendly.  There are children everywhere, all the time.  It surprised me a lot to see children out at restaurants at 10pm for the first day or two, but I’m used to it now. 

However, isn’t taking a toddler to an inappropriate movie at midnight and expecting him to be quiet absolutely ridiculous?  And I suppose it’s not exactly ‘child friendly’ to smack your child.

I was absolutely livid, but there wasn’t exactly anything I could do except fume inwardly.

I think this is where cultural differences become more apparent…

I Spy (C)

(Sorry I’m a bit late to the game this week.  But here goes!)

I spy

With my little eye

Something beginning with…

C

The picture below was taken yesterday near The Dubai Fountain.  The “subject” is one of my closest/bestest friends.

C_-_christmas

What’s that got to do with C, right?

Well…  It was his birthday last Sunday on 25th December.  

Christmas day!

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Mum of One

 

Closed!

Yesterday morning, Hub and I decided we would take Vinay to Sharjah to the Wild Life Centre.  There *is* a zoo in Dubai but I’d read some awful reviews about how the animals aren’t particularly cared for, and decided we would NOT go there.

Hub rented a car and driver for the day and we set off just after lunch.  It took us an hour or so to get there.  Vinay was not thrilled to be in the car for that long and the others weren’t thrilled when we got there and realised that the Centre was CLOSED on Tuesdays!  I insisted that the website did not state that it was closed then, but when I went back and checked…  Oops.  *feels very silly*

Rather than heading back to Dubai (since we’d come all that way), we went to the Sharjah Aquarium.  I was so excited to take Vinay – he hadn’t been to an aquarium before, and I couldn’t wait to see his reaction.

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They also had a little playground outside, which he was very happy to spend a little time in!

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(He is still learning how to sit on the slide properly!)

In the evening Hub, my sister and I went to The Meat Co. for dinner.  The steaks were delicious!  The restaurant is in Souk Al Bahar.  It is a beautiful place – but unfortunately I have no pictures 😦

I’ve eaten so much I’m going to have to roll into bed!

Yesterday

We’ve not done too much yet.  Yesterday we went to The Dubai Mall to sort out sim cards and to buy a few bits and pieces mum needed for their new apartment. 

The Waterfall 

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Once we got home, we took Vinay to Wafi City Mall to see the Christmas tree and to have a wander around.

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Fountain Fun

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Today we plan to go to the wildlife centre in Sharjah.  

I’m quite excited and can’t wait to see Vinay’s expression when he sees the animals!

Dubai

Leaving Lagos is not easy at the best of times.  Leaving on Christmas Eve was no different.  At every turn in the airport (five checks between arriving and boarding), there was someone looking for something!

There is a security check before the actual check-in.  The ‘officers’ are meant to do a random bag search.  That is, they are meant to open two out of every four suitcases, or something like that.  After slyly asking Hub for ‘dash’ (and Hub refusing (as he always does)), they proceeded to open *every* single bag, paw through every piece of clothing and ask random, nonsensical questions about everything.  

Anyway, so we tired Vinay out before boarding.  We made him run around as much as possible; and he fell asleep as soon as we boarded.  This was great.  But it also meant he only slept for the first hour of a six and a half hour flight!

He wasn’t too much trouble though – he had to be walked around and wanted to be let loose, and I couldn’t expect him to stay still…  

Oh.  And he wailed at landing.

We reached Doha for our two hour stop-over; and let him loose in the airport.  He was thrilled to run around and got tired quickly.  So, he slept the whole way to Dubai (all of one hour); and there was no crying at landing πŸ™‚

I spent yesterday napping, eating and unpacking.  And Vinay spent the day getting to know his grandparents and ‘maasi’ (mother’s sister) again.  

He was quite jet-lagged so the night was really difficult…

Things to do while we’re here include: 

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Arabia’s Wildlife Centre in Sharjah

Desert Safari

Catch up with friends

Meet new friends

I don’t feel the need to rush and do these all right away since we’re here until mid-January πŸ™‚

Anyone have any must-see or must-do recommendations?

Say Something!

Vinay is fifteen months old.  He’s fifteen months old and he’s actually quite smart!  I know, I know – every mother thinks the same about her children..  But he really is.  You can read his Report Card here and judge for yourself!

There is, however, one thing that’s worrying me a little…

He’s not talking yet.  He can communicate – but he’s not talking.  

I didn’t really think anything of it – except one particular person asks me (almost) EVERY single day, ‘Is Vinay saying a few words now?’  

Funnily enough, I’ve always reassured Hub, in-laws and parents as to why to he wasn’t crawling or walking yet.  I always told them that he would accomplish x, y or z when he was good and ready and not before; and truly believed it.

Until he was six months old, he made lots of cooing sounds.  Like… a pigeon.  He didn’t do all the usual babbling that my BabyCentre emails said he would *probably* start doing at four months.

After he was seven months old he started making other sounds: ‘inga inga’ ‘eh eh’

He started saying ‘mama’ – but was never referring to me.  And just before his first birthday, he said it again – calling me.  And now – he only says it when he’s ‘in distress’.

He babbles more now, and his range of speech sounds has definitely expanded.  He says things like ‘tikum tikum’, ‘nyen nyen nyen’, ‘brm brm brm’ and other things that make me wonder if he’s speaking Japanese.  

However, none of these is associated with an actual object.  Yet, he is still very capable of making sure everyone knows what he wants.

I’ve heard the: ‘Boys are a bit slower than girls’, ‘My brother didn’t talk until he was three’, ‘He walked first, so maybe he’ll talk a bit later’, ‘All children are different’, ‘He’ll talk when he’s ready’ and ‘I wouldn’t worry, he’s only fifteen months’.

That’s all very well and good.  But what if there *is* a problem?  What if he has some kind of speech delay?  Surely it would be better to ‘catch’ it sooner, rather than later?  And how would I know what to look for?  How does one even *do* a speech and language assessment on a toddler that doesn’t talk yet?

We have lots of playtime everyday, we sing nursery rhymes and do action rhymes, we look at books together *all* the time and read them several times over.  What else can I do?

Apparently toddlers should be saying about twenty words by the time they’re eighteen months.  If he’s fifteen months old and only saying one word (sometimes), shouldn’t I worry?

 

 

I Spy (F)

I spy with my little eye,

Something beginning with….

F

That’s right – That’s the letter Mum Of One has given us this week!

So here you go…

Introducing…

Fishy

F_-_fishy

Fishy (not the most original name, I know) was a return gift from a birthday party we went to last month.  EVERY single one of the (one hundred) children got a goldfish as a present.  The mind boggles.

Anyway – That’s my F!

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Mum of One

The Ultimate Christmas Meme

Christmas?!  It’s come round quickly this year, hasn’t it?  Thank you TheBoyandMe for tagging me (again)!

1.  The Christmas song I can listen to even in June is…

Last Christmas by Wham.  Sad, I know.  But I LOVE it.

2.  Hot chocolate, egg nog or mulled wine?

Hot chocolate, definitely.  The other two make me want to be sick!

3.  When do you put your decorations up?

Hmm…  IF we stay in Lagos for the holiday (only twice in the last 5 years), we I put the tree up in the second week of December.  We don’t usually put any other decorations up.  It just feels a bit strange when it’s so hot outside!  No decorations or tree this year!

4.  What are you having for Christmas dinner?

We arrive in Dubai at about five on Christmas morning – so not sure what the dinner plan will be.  But it will probably be take-out!

5.  What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

We don’t really celebrate Christmas.  However, when we (the family) all lived in London (pre-marriage) we always had a tree.  We always bought each other presents and put them under the tree and my mum always made Christmas lunch.  I loved that we always waited until after we’d had lunch before opening our presents.

6.  Have you ever gone carol singing?

No.  But I did enjoy singing Christmas carols at school!

7.  When did you discover the truth about Santa?

I think I always knew that he didn’t *really* exist.  But I couldn’t understand how things came to be in my stocking when no one had been home that evening.  Maybe he does exist?

8.  How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

I don’t put tinsel or lights on our tree.  I put mini-Santas on it, candy canes, tiny presents wrapped in red and green with little gold ribbons and a couple of reindeer.  I definitely need to get some more decorations for it – it usually looks a bit bare!

9.  All I want for Christmas is…

I haven’t really thought about it yet!

I’m going to tag:

RedRoseMummy

And, anyone else who hasn’t done this yet! (Sorry – got some blogs to catch up with!)

Mix-Tape Monday #8

The Mix-Tape Monday theme this week is…

Your Favourite Christmas Song

I can’t believe it’s Christmas already!

I struggled to decide between Wham’s Last Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas; but then I remembered…

THIS is my favourite Christmas song.  Enjoy!

Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby

Go to Boo and Me and see the other entries!

Boo and Me

 

 

Going Home

My flight back to Lagos is in about twenty-five hours.  And if all goes according to schedule, I should be home at approximately nine o’clock on Monday morning.

NEVER before have I counted the hours to go back.  The thought of leaving London usually fills me with dread.  But this time, I can’t wait to go home.

I have enjoyed being in London.  And I achieved almost everything on my list of things to do!

The things I *didn’t* do: Find shoes for Vinay or myself.  And to be honest, I didn’t even look.

And I didn’t buy any clothes for myself either.  Again, I barely looked.  Trying on jeans was too depressing for words – so I decided not to put myself through that in multiple stores!

I arrived in London thinking about how relaxing it would be.  I would watch TV shows, I would sleep for as long as I wanted and I would just chill out (between various appointments).  I wouldn’t have to worry about not having electricity, the generator breaking-down or buying diesel. 

I caught-up on TV shows.  I’m all up-to-date with 90210 and White Collar; and started watching New Girl as well as season 2 of Hawaii 5-0.

BUT – I just couldn’t sleep.  I was up at six every morning (after waking up countless times during the night) wondering about what Vinay was doing.  Did he wake up crying inconsolably during the night?  Did Hub remember to get diesel for the generator?  Would he take him to the doctor on Friday as scheduled (yes, he did)?  Is he (Vinay) eating his meals properly?  Would there be power during the day?  Who would take the dog out during the day?

It’s been a bit lonely.  My sister has been at work every day and my parents aren’t here.  I love going out and about and just walking around, but it’s something I’ve always done with my mum.

I am so lucky that I was able to come to London. 

But for the first time, I missed Lagos and can’t wait to go back!